AAMIA and AAMLC Statement on the President’s Remarks on Immigration Reform

The African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) of People For the American Way Foundation, and African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) of People For the American Way, interfaith bodies of African American clergy, congratulate President Obama on his thoughtful remarks yesterday on immigration. 

We agree, Mr. President, that reform can no longer “be held hostage.” We agree that accountability, responsibility and action are required of the government, including all political parties, by the business community small and large, and by individuals undocumented and documented throughout the country in this time of urgency.  As the President said, we need to create pathways that are “fair and reflect our values as a nation”

We are a people and a nation of hope, a beacon of light. This light has been visible, viable, and valued. We must move beyond what divides, inflames and demonizes. Families must be reunited, employment must be safe and fair for all, fear and intimidation must be eliminated, and the testimony and culture of this generation must be fundamentally changed to embrace diversity, respect, hope and courage.

We appreciate the reflective tone of the President’s remarks, and agree with his thoughtful conclusion-- while responsible legislation is needed, there is an even greater need to inform and educate the American public about who the immigrant is, what the immigrant has contributed to the advancement of this nation, and how the immigrant will be a part of the building and defense of the next chapter in our history.

We need strong leadership and good faith efforts to make Comprehensive Immigration Reform a reality. We stand  with other faith leaders around the country to urge the government, businesses and individuals to find the courage to provide that leadership. We need the DREAM Act passed. More importantly, we need an America that lets its light of shared values shine.

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